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THE truth is out there, and it could be closer than ever.
A UFO enthusiast plans to use the Freedom of Information Act to access previously secret government documents to uncover the truth behind unexplained sightings of flying objects around Peterborough.
Michael Hoffman, of Bruces Close, Conington, near Peterborough, who runs the UFO research group Sky Lights, hopes that the release of so-called "X files" held by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will finally shed light on why there have been so many alien sightings in the area.
He said: "I think the Act will give us quite a lot of information about UFOs, and it is something our group will definitely use.
"The MoD will not be very forthcoming with information and will find ways to block it, not release it. But I will use the Act to get information.
"They have a Freedom of Information Act in the USA, but still manage to hold stuff back which they want to keep a secret. I hope it will be different here."
This week, the MoD released secret papers under the Act showing that 91 sightings were recorded last year in the UK, including a report of "four dull red lights" hovering above Peterborough.
The latest files also revealed that a government meeting was held to investigate the existence of aliens in June 1951, but dismissed sightings of UFOs by RAF personnel, as well as a series of reports of "luminous bodies" by members of the public.
Minutes of the Government's Flying Saucer Working Party show that they regarded the pursuit of UFOs to be a "singularly profitless enterprise" and recommended no further investigation of mysterious aerial phenomena.
However, a spokesman for the Peterborough Paranormal Society was not convinced that the Act would yield any great discoveries.
He said: "It depends what they release, but normally they just black out anything controversial.
"In the '80s and '90s there were a lot of sightings around Peterborough, but that is probably because they have been testing new aircraft in the area.
"We concentrate more on ghost sightings and have not had any reports of UFOs since we set up a few years ago."
> Anyone who has witnessed any strange flying objects can contact Michael Hoffman at link
The paranormal in Peterborough
> The first UFO sighting in Peterborough occurred in 1909 when two police officers reported a strange object hovering above the cathedral. It is thought to have been an early Zeppellin craft.
> A Peterborough postman claimed a pyramid-shaped cosmic craft performed acrobatic tricks just yards above his head. Thomas Thompson, of Lincoln Road, Peterborough, said he witnessed the glowing orange spaceship at a friend's house, in St Neots, in 1981.
> A jet black triangular-shaped UFO hovering above the A47, between Peterborough and Wisbech, in November, was seen by a student, his girlfriend, his mother and a friend, in November 1997.
> Bizarre crop circles, hundreds of metres wide, appeared at Sibson Airfield, near Wansford, in 1990.
> Brian Dunnett, from Netherton, saw strange lights in the sky at his Heaton Close home, in 1995.
> Two black shimmering discs were spotted gliding above Millfield, Peterborough, in November 1997, by Graham Palk, of Gladstone Street.